There are a number of triggers that can set off a migraine. Things like changes in barometric pressure such as summer storms rolling in or descending from high altitudes during flights as well as eating foods such as cheese, chocolate and wine, food intolerances, stress, skipping meals, high dietary fat intake, and increased pressure on liver detoxification all act as triggers. Unfortunately the festive season seems to roll all of these triggers into one neat little potential migraine bomb.
Anyone who suffers from migraine headaches will tell you, you either get them or you don’t. They can be debilitating and last from four hours to three days. More than 3 million people in Australia suffer from migraine and of these three times as many women as men are affected. To put it into perspective more people suffer from migraines than diabetes, asthma or heart disease, and this creates not only distress for sufferers but also for their families and places of work.
According to research by headache Australia, the direct and indirect costs of migraine alone would be about $1 billion per annum in Australia.
What can you do to prevent migraine?
- Avoid exposure to noise and intermittent light flashes. Avoid fluorescent lighting where possible, and optimise the use of natural light.
- Take regular work breaks especially if your work is repetitive or using computers. Walk away from your desk or work station every 20 minutes if possible to get a breath of fresh air, grab a drink of water and move your body.
- Increase your consumption of cold water fish such as salmon, sardines for their omega-3 oils.
- Include ginger and garlic in your diet.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water daily. More if your are exercising or in air-conditioning.
- Cut back or avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, coke, nicotine, alcohol.
- Eat small regular meals to keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day. Avoid skipping meals.
Unfortunately, there is no feasible way to avoid the wind or changes in the weather. You may however be able to reduce your susceptibility and frequency of migraine by addressing some of the underlying causes of migraine such as:
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Food allergy or intolerance
- Liver stress
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Nutrient deficiencies or Excesses
Talk to your naturopath today about how to identify your unique triggers, and what you can do to suffer less and feel great more often.